created by Glenn Tamashiro

Hello and welcome. This site was developed to keep you informed about the various lessons and activities that are held in our Government/Economics and Honors Government/AP Macroeconomics classes.



HGov: Presidential Roles

10 US-President-Seal
The constitutional powers of the president include commander in chief, head of the executive branch, making treaties and appointing ambassadors, appointing federal court judges, pardoning people convicted of federal crimes, and executing the laws that Congress passes. The President has seven key duties, and five are specified in the Constitution: serving as head of state, chief executive, chief legislator, chief diplomat, and commander in chief. Two other duties, economic planner and political party leader, are not implied in the Constitution but have developed over time. As head of state, the president represents the nation and performs many ceremonial roles. As the nation’s chief executive, the president uses several tools to see that the laws of Congress are carried out. One tool is the ability to issue executive orders. Other tools are the power to appoint people to important offices in the executive branch, to fire appointed officials, and to appoint officials to the judiciary. However, the Senate must confirm a president’s appointees. As chief legislator, the executive branch is expected to propose legislation to Congress that it wishes to see enacted. The president has a large staff to help write legislation, and the staff also presents to Congress a suggested budget and an annual economic report. As party leader, presidents are expected to appoint members of their party to government jobs. As chief diplomat, the president directs the foreign policy of the United States which include negotiating treaties, making executive agreements, and recognizing foreign governments. As commander in chief, the president shares with Congress the power to make war. The president may also use the military to control serious turmoil in the nation caused by riots or natural disasters. Every president has a unique style of leadership. The most successful presidents have a genuine feel for the hopes, fears, and moods of the nation. Failure to understand the public can prove disastrous for an administration. Successful presidents must be able to communicate effectively and to present their ideas in a way that inspires public support. Sometimes presidents demonstrate leadership by introducing bold new policies at the right time. Good leadership also requires the capacity to be flexible, open to new ideas, and able to compromise. Successful presidents need political courage to go against public opinion to do what they think is best.


Econ: Equilibrium

In the real world, demand and supply operate together. As the price of a good or service goes down, the quantity demanded rises and the quantity supplied falls. As the price goes up, the quantity demanded decreases and the quantity supplied increases. The quantity demanded and the quantity supplied meet at the equilibrium price. At this price, the quantity supplied by the sellers is the same as the quantity demanded by the buyers. Put the demand and supply curves on one graph and the point where the two curves intersect is the equilibrium point.

shortage v surplus D-S graph
Demand and supply interact to drive prices for goods and services to the equilibrium level. The equilibrium price is also known as the market clearing price or the “right” price. Disequilibrium occurs when prices are set above or below the equilibrium price. When prices are too low, excess demand leads to shortages. When prices are too high, excess supply leads to surpluses.

One of the benefits of the market economy is that when it operates without restrictions, it eliminates shortages and surpluses. Whenever shortages occur, the market ends up taking care of itself and the price goes up to eliminate the shortage. Whenever surpluses occur, the market again ends up taking care of itself and the price falls to eliminate the surplus.


HGov: Presidential Leadership


The president is often viewed as the most powerful national leader in the world. However, at one time, U.S. presidents held far less power. During the 1800s, presidents acted mainly as “chief clerks.” Other than carrying out the will of Congress, they had little authority other than those powers explicitly granted by the Constitution. Since the end of World War II, the presidency has been powerful, no matter who was in the White House. By the 1970s, critics of presidential power voiced concerns about the rise of an “imperial presidency,” meaning presidents acted more like emperors than constitutional leaders.

Public expectations, national crises, and changing national and world conditions have required the presidency to become a strong office. Underlying this development is the public support the president receives from being the only nationally elected official. The president’s election by national vote and position as sole chief executive ensure that others will listen to his ideas. But to lead effectively, the president must have the help of other officials, and to get their help, he must respond to their interests as they respond to his. Presidential influence on national policy is highly variable. Whether presidents succeed or fail in getting their policies enacted depends heavily on the force of circumstance, the stage of their presidency, partisan support in Congress, and the foreign or domestic nature of the policy issue.

To retain an effective leadership position, the president also depends on the strong backing of the American people. While many presidents have high support ratings early in their administrations, these ratings invariably decline due to disappointment, scandal, or general disillusionment. Unfortunately, the public expects far more from the president than he can deliver. The media is also a problem here, as it tends to dwell on “negative spin” regarding presidential “broken promises” or difficulties rather than what the president has actually accomplished


Econ: Change in Supply and Demand Review

Identify the difference between a change in supply or change in quantity supplied and a change in demand or quantity demanded.

A change in quantity supplied is a movement along the supply curve and can be caused only by a change in the price of the good or service. At a lower price, a smaller quantity is supplied. A change in supply is a shift of the curve whereby more or less is supplied at every price. A change in technology, in resource costs, in the number of producers, government policies, producer expectation, or other conditions will cause a change in supply. 

A change in quantity demanded is a movement along the demand curve and can be caused only by a change in the price of the good or service. At a lower price, a larger quantity is demanded. A change in demand is a shift in the curve whereby more or less is demanded at every price. Changes in taste or preferences, income, consumer expectations, consumer market, or the prices of complementary or substitute goods & services will cause a change in demand.


HGov: Big Sky Big Money

Big Sky Big Money
Frontline’s Kai Ryssdal’s research leads him to some mysterious documents that suggest that the line that’s supposed to separate candidates from these 501(c)(4) groups has been crossed in Montana. His broader point is the way that organizations operating from outside the state have been aggressively influencing voting in Montana and have been doing so essentially anonymously.


Econ: Changes in Supply

A supply curve shows all the prices and quantities at which producers are willing and able to sell a good or service. Producers want to sell more at a higher price and less at a lower price.

Changes in supply, STORES, are caused by changes in: Subsidies or taxes (government action), Technology/productivity, Other events or natural disasters, Resource costs, Expectation of change in future prices (profit), and Size of the producer market. Supply elasticity describes how producers will change the quantity they supply in response to a change in price.

A supply curve is the graph that shows the relationship between price and quantity. There is a difference between a change in supply and a change in quantity supplied. A change in quantity supplied is a movement along the supply curve and can be caused only by a change in the price of the good or service. At a lower price, a smaller quantity is supplied. A change in supply is a shift of the curve whereby more or less is supplied at every price. A change in technology, in production costs or in the number of sellers (firms) will cause a change in supply. When a business wants to expand, it has to consider the law of diminishing returns to decide how much expansion will help the business.


HGov: Big Sky Big Money

Big sky big money-2
Big Sky Big Money takes place in Helena, Montana and digs deep into the funding of the 2012 political campaigns to find out just who funds all these politicians and if they really are the ones controlling who wins the elections. Montana spent the most amount of money in supporting candidates in a political race for the Senate throughout America. The last campaign was saturated with political attack ads. $6.8 million funded this election. 68% of the funding came from outside groups and these groups seem to be controlling who wins because of their tremendous support.